Den of Smug

13 05 2010
Nice map of Smuggler's Den from AO Stratics via Internet Archive

Nice map of Smuggler's Den from AO Stratics via Internet Archive

Baba was just starting to set into motion the process of standing up his aging Atrox body, taking care to not move too quickly until the usual stiffness wore off, when a new org mate sent him a tell inviting him to Smuggler’s Den.  As Baba rubbed his back over one of his pre reclaim terminal and surgery clinic injuries, he watched a tell scroll by from Solarmitri, a Level 136 Solitus Male Doctor who was an applicant to Angels of the Night.  This was a hopeful sign as many of AOTN’s longtime regulars have left recently so new blood was very welcome.

Baba has been getting the inspect crates mission at Smuggler’s Den from the Daily Mission office, and so far had not gotten very far each time.  He had never in fact made it very far into the dungeon on previous solo attempts.  Most of the time the place is deserted, at least before the Daily Missions were introduced.

Baba has been to enough dungeons on Rubi-Ka to be familiar with the overall drill, at least for first time FROOB players.  You first go to a new dungeon at the low end of the intended level range and get sent back to reclaim allot as one learns the layout of the dungeon and how it works.  Smuggler’s Den is one of the oldest dungeons and has several broken design flaws.  The worst is how all the mobs, even those gray to you, will aggro and attack you.  This leads to the second flaw, trains.  As the dungeon has no level lock, high level players often come in to help out an alt or twink project, and then run out when done.  This can train high level mobs from the deepest part of the dungeon out passages close to the entrance.

Eventually, one levels up a bit and gets to know the ins and outs of the dungeon, and the process evolves past simple survival to more tangible objectives like hunting specific mobs or experience and loot, or to complete a mission or quest.

Baba had at least recently done his net research on the place.  He found good information in the following spots:

Zyvania Bagh, an NPC in Newland will warp you to Omni Forrest

Zyvania Bagh, an NPC in Newland will warp you to Omni Forrest

AO Stratics is no more, but the Internet Archive still keeps a few of its pages, with some images missing however.  One nugget Baba found there is that another short cut to the den.  It says that any one who can get a 150 or greater Adventurer to cast Parrot Form on them, and then enter a door at 720 x 704 in Borealis will be transported immediately to the center of the Smuggler area main hall.  AO Universe mentions another short cut which is to speak to Zyvania Bagh in Newland City, an NPC who will warp you to just outside the Steps of Madness dungeon in Omni Forrest, the zone next to Southern Foul Plains where Smuggler’s Den is.

After taking the Newland City shortcut, Baba then flew the short flight across a zone to reach the Smugglers Den entrance where he met up with Solarmitri.  Baba had a bit of trouble with his team chat window and had to take a minute or two fixing it before they could finish up buffing and enter the cave.  While Baba was resetting his team chat window,  Glorytime, a 145 Omni Fixer flew up and asked to join in.  This was definitely a welcome addition, so Glorytime was quickly added to the team.

The first few halls were mostly very gray mantices, that gave no experience and were mainly just an annoyance.  When the reached the large open area with a small stream running through it, no one on the team knew which direction to go in, since none of them had been there before.  Because this dungeon consists of irregularly shaped caves and passageways,  it was pretty hard to keep ones bearings.  The team eventually settled on a strategy to just keep heading north, at least in relation to the usual maps of the place.
They eventually found themselves in a whitish set of caves with a number of fairly high level Mantices that had either orange or reddish health bars.  These were rather easy for the group to put away, even when attacked by several at a time.

After clearing out that whole section, the team wandered southwestern-ish and eventually came to the entrance to the Smugglers area.  The entrance had been cleared recently by another team, so the first mob Baba’s team came across in this area was a large gun turret in a small side room.  These went down fairly quickly.

They eventually progressed to a hall with clawfingers and smugglers in it.  Things got a bit hectic as a handful of smugglers were very close to the door when the team entered.  It was the first time Baba really needed to spam his Mongo as these mobs were red and hit very hard.  The team methodically fought its way down the length of this long hall and had quite a battle with some high level smugglers at the end of the hall.  Baba was really amazed at how well Solarmitri was able to keep all of the team close to full health most of the time.  He was also glad to have Partial Grid Jump buff from Glorytime. Glorytime was doing high damage consistently.

Baba tried to do his best tanking, but he was a bit rusty, having spent that last 20 levels or so mostly kiting Borgs and running missions solo.  It all came back pretty fast, but he really needs to work on his pulling skills which have been neglected for a while.  While the Mantices has been easy, the Smuggler area was very intense and the team for the most part rolled over everything they met.

A dangerous bridge, where Baba's team was wiped.

A dangerous bridge, where Baba's team was wiped.

The team then took a side door and went up some stairs where there were 4 gun emplacements all together in a corner.  The team dealt with them and several bots in the adjoining hall way.  After the bots, there was a door, and on the other side of the door was an elevated walkway, with similar walkways a few feet away on either side, all crawling with Smugglers.  Baba ventured out on the middle of the walkway and engaged a smuggler, which was soon joined by several more that came through the opposite door. The rest of the team followed out onto the walkway as well.

These Smugglers did not seem to be any higher than the last few, but the whole team was losing health much faster than before.  As soon as one smuggler dropped, another would come running through the door on the other side, and take its place.

Turret which appears to be next to the same bridge.

Turret which appears to be next to the same bridge.

The whole team got wiped.  While rezzing the team discussed what went wrong.  Perhaps they should have stayed behind the first door, and pulled smugglers to them there.  It was getting late and although Solarmitri was game to go back, Baba and Glorytime had run out of time for the night and needed to log off.

Later Baba reviewed what happened and noticed that according to several pictures from the AO Universe guide that the bridge/walkway where they got wiped, looked to have large gun turrets pointed at it from the end of the hallway that the bridge covered.  He will be sure to inspect that area carefully next time around.

Baba added a few items to his personal to-do list:

  • find and update all of his taunting tools
  • practice pulling
  • find and equip some hacked boosted grafts (a root and an AC  buff)
  • redo his hot-bar to put back his taunts.



2 responses

3 06 2010

Thanks for the tip about the shortcut in Borealis. Now my adventurer has a reason for blitzing/sneaking the Parrot nano.

21 06 2010

Wow, small world, was reading up on your fantastic Blitz List this morning!
Highly recommended: JungleGeorge’s Blitz List.

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